The lead and lead-tin alloys in many historical organ pipes in Europe are being increasingly affected by corrosion, and the number of historical organs affected by corrosion seems to be growing. The aggressiveness of this corrosion is a major environmental threat against the acoustical integrity of our historical organ heritage.
The COLLAPSE project searched for relevant methods and products as well as new conservation strategies in order to combat the corrosion of lead and lead-tin alloy organ pipes. Through field studies and laboratory experiments, methods were developed to clean, protect and preserve already corroded pipes, recommended conservation strategies were identified and products were tested in a case study using the historical Stellwagen organ in St. Jakobi Church, Lübeck, severely affected by corrosion. Guidelines for a European conservation strategy within this field are being developed in order to contribute to the safeguarding of an essential part of the cultural identity of Europe.